Belles Split with Nationally-Ranked Scots
- Morgan Raymer threw the complete game win in game one with two strikeouts, a walk, and four hits while not allowing an earned run.
- The sophomore helped her own cause and lifted the team to the victory with a walk-off bases loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
- Kayla Chapman added a triple and scored a run in game one.
- Caitlyn Migawa picked up the team's only two hits of game two.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team handed No. 12 Alma their first conference loss of the season with a 3-2 victory in 10 innings in game one before falling 6-0 in game two against the Scots on Wednesday evening.
The Belles took the early lead in game one with a run in the first and a run in the second. Jamie Young laced a single into left-center to lead off the first inning for Saint Mary's. After a sacrifice bunt by Eliese Hornberger moved Young from first to third, Makenzie Duncan got more than enough of the ball on a sacrifice fly to right field to plate the sophomore for the 1-0 lead. Kayla Chapman then led off the bottom of the second with a triple to right field. Three batters later, the senior was able to score on a wild pitch to double the lead to 2-0 through two complete.
The game remained 2-0 in favor of the Belles until late in the game thanks to solid defensive plays and strong pitching. The Scots were unable to break through until the top of the sixth inning. After loading the bases with no one out, Morgan Raymer picked up a big strikeout to re-energize the defense. Kayla Chapman nearly got the Belles out of the inning with an unassisted double play, but the hard-hit grounder was just barely foul as the Scots' at bats remained alive. An error on what may have been an inning-ending double play just a few pitches later resulted in the ball rolling out of play as two runners scored on the deadball situation to tie the game.
The Belles were poised to end the game in the bottom of the seventh after Chapman drew a lead-off walk and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Migawa. Jillian Busfield was intentionally walked before Chapman moved to third on a fielder's choice to put two outs on the scoreboard. The rally ended short as the Scots' second baseman snagged a hard-hit line drive by Sarah Callis to end the inning.
Both teams went three up, three down over the next two innings to push the game to the tenth inning. With the international tiebreaker rule coming into play in the tenth inning of conference games, the Scots had the first stab at putting a run across by starting the inning with a runner on second. The Saint Mary's defense had other ideas as Raymer drew a line out to third and a fly out to shallow center field that Kelsey Richards tracked down.
Krystal Harris pinch ran for Migawa and started the inning at second base. Busfield's second intentional walk in as many plate appearances put two runners on base with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Richards moved the pair into scoring position. Two batters later, Jamie Young was intentionally walked to load the bases. Morgan Raymer replaced the designated player slot and hit for herself. With a two-ball, two-strike count, the sophomore punched a single past the Alma pitcher and into center field to easily plate Harris for the game-winning run.
Morgan Raymer threw the complete game win in game one with two strikeouts, a walk, and four hits while not allowing an earned run. The sophomore helped her own cause and lifted the team to the victory with a walk-off bases loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning. Kayla Chapman added a triple and scored a run. Jamie Young tallied a single and scored once, and Caitlyn Migawa chipped in a single.
In game two, Alma opened up the bottom of the first inning with four runs on four hits - including two home runs - to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Caitlyn Migawa tried to start a two-out rally in the top of the second by rocketing a single past the third baseman, and Jillian Busfield kept the inning alive with a walk. The pair moved up 60 feet on a wild pitch, but a line out to the shortstop ended the threat.
The Scots plated a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to extend their lead to 6-0.
Saint Mary's tried to start a seventh-inning rally as Migawa led off the inning with a single up the middle. Megan Knudsen came in to pinch run for Migawa, but a fly out and a strikeout put the game one out away from ending. Angela Dainelli drew a walk to extend the Belles' life late in the game, but another fly out closed out the game with Saint Mary's on the wrong side of the 6-0 final.
Caitlyn Migawa had the Belles' only two hits of the game with a pair of singles. Jillian Busfield walked once and was hit by a pitch once to reach base a pair of times. Sarah Callis and Angela Dainelli each added a walk. Sarah Burke shouldered the loss in the circle after being tallied for four earned runs in 0.1 innings. Mary Green closed out the final 5.2 innings and allowed one earned run on six hits with no extra base hits.
The Belles (12-11, 2-2 MIAA) travel to Olivet on Saturday for a league doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.